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Court rejects bail plea of ex-minister suspected of killing judge’s brother


The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases on Tuesday (February 25) denied bail to Pol Lt-Colonel Banyin Tangpakorn and five other accomplices who are suspects in the suspected murder of a brother of a Southern Bangkok Criminal Court judge.

The victim, Weerachai Sakuntaprasert, 67, who is still missing but presumed dead, is a brother of judge Panida Sakuntaprasert who has been working on a case in which Banyin is among defendants accused of fabricating and using forged documents to claim more than Bt300 million worth of shares belonging to deceased construction tycoon Chuwong Saetang.
According CCTV footage evidence, Weerachai was kidnapped by a group of men in front of Southern Bangkok Criminal Court on February 4. Police tracked down a suspect who reportedly confessed that he and other accomplices, including Banyin, had murdered the victim and dumped the body in a river in Nakhon Sawan province. According to police report, divers have found multiple bone fragments at the site and forensic staff are testing the DNA to confirm that they belong to the victim. The results are expected in a few days.
The six suspects who have been arrested are: Banyin Tangpakorn, 56; Manus Thabnin, 67; Narongsak Pomchan, 49; Prachawit Srithongsuk, 34; Chatchai Mainkul, 31; and Thongchai Wajeesatja, 62. The court decided to deny bail to the suspects fearing they might escape and ordered them to be detained at Bangkok Remand Prison immediately.
Banyin was a deputy commerce minister in the Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat governments and is a former Nakhon Sawan MP of the now-defunct People’s Power Party.

Published : February 26, 2020

By : THE NATION